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More than 200 patients at NJ hospital exposed to HIV or hepatitis by ex-employee tampering with drugs

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More than 200 people treated at a New Jersey medical center may have been exposed to HIV or hepatitis B or C because of a former employee accused of tampering with drugs, the hospital said on Thursday.

Shore Medical Center in Somers Point, located on the southern New Jersey coast outside of Atlantic City, sent letters last week to 213 patients who were treated with certain intravenous medications, including morphine, between June 1, 2013 and Sept. 17, 2014.

“We have been working with public health authorities to determine if patients could have been exposed to blood-borne pathogens at Shore through contact with this employee’s blood,” said hospital spokesman Brian Cahill in a statement.

Free testing and support are being offered to the patients, the hospital said. New Jersey Health Department spokeswoman Dawn Thomas described the risk of exposure as low.

Frederick McLeish, 53, a former pharmacist at the hospital, is accused of removing the drugs from vials intended to be used in the preparation of intravenous medications for patients, and replacing them with a saline solution.

His attorney, John Zarych, declined to comment on the case.

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The hospital detected a problem and fired McLeish, of Egg Harbor Township, after an internal investigation. On Jan. 21 he was indicted by an Atlantic County grand jury on charges of drug tampering, theft and drug possession. He was released on bail the same day, according to a court official.

On Monday, McLeish was arraigned in Atlantic County Superior Court. A status hearing, at which he is expected to enter a plea, has been scheduled for March 7.

McLeish had been authorized to prescribe, dispense or administer medication, according to the Atlantic County prosecutor’s office.

The hospital, state health department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are still investigating.

(Reporting by Marcus E. Howard in New York; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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Republican lawmakers ask judge to destroy smoking gun documents proving GOP’s white supremacy

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Republicans on Monday sought a court order to block damning documents from being used against them in a lawsuit.

"North Carolina Republican lawmakers on Monday asked a court to make sure the files of the now-deceased GOP strategist Tom Hofeller are destroyed, or at least kept secret, instead of being used in a high-profile gerrymandering lawsuit," the Raleigh News & Observer reported.

"The filing comes after the groups behind the lawsuit, including Common Cause, accused Republican lawmakers of making false statements in court in a previous gerrymandering case, when the state’s 2011 maps were ruled unconstitutional," the newspaper noted. "That blockbuster accusation made national headlines and was, it said, based on Hofeller’s files which had been secret until recently."

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Maddow slams Trump’s era of government officials ‘saving the country from the commander-in-chief’ with leaks

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Rachel Maddow on Monday worried about the pattern of government officials leaking to the press to stop President Donald Trump from sabotaging United States' interests to help Russia.

The MSNBC anchor broke down the key questions raised by the bombshell New York Times report that officials were keeping secrets from Trump to protect U.S. interests.

Maddow reminded of a June 2017 story by Michael Isikoff.

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Trump angrily demands newspaper reveal unnamed sources behind bombshell report on his Russia policy

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President Donald Trump on Monday evening again lashed out at The New York Times for reporting on his Russia policy.

"The story in The New York Times about the U.S. escalating attacks on Russia’s power grid is fake news, and the failing New York Times knows it," Trump argued in a tweet sent after 10 p.m.

"They should immediately release their sources which, if they exist at all, which I doubt, are phony," he continued.

"Times must be held fully accountable," he demanded.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1140804748423118848

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